An 18-year-old girl, with total hearing impairment has made her Indian Army officer father proud by being one of the probables for next year's Tokyo Olympics in Golf.
If she qualifies for the Tokyo Games, Diksha Dagar could be the first specially-abled sports person from India to compete in the Olympic Games.
The Colonel's daughter, who stands at the 56th position in Olympic rankings, is at present going through qualification rounds for the biggest international sporting event.
Earlier this year, Diksha, a left-handed golfer, became the youngest Indian woman to win the Ladies European Tour in South Africa. Ace golfer Aditi Ashok is the only other Indian female to have won the tournament.
"Diksha's ranking is good at this point of time. She has a number of competitions lined up before the Tokyo Olympics. Given her performances, she will improve her rankings. It is almost certain she will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics," her father Colonel Narinder Dagar told IANS.
Diksha -- a Class 12 Commerce student of DPS (Dhaula Kuan) in New Delhi -- won her first major tournament at the Ladies Amateur Open Championship in Singapore in 2018.
In 2005 when Diksha was around five years old, she underwent a surgery for a cochlear implant in her left ear that gave her the boon of partial hearing.
"Till the age of five, she was totally unable to speak either because she could not hear. It was a great joy for her when she was able to hear partially following the cochlear implant. Nevertheless, it is always a great challenge for a sportsperson to perform and compete without one of the five senses. She has never let her disability come in the way of her ambitions. She is good in studies too despite her limitations and professional commitments," added Colonel Dagar.
Belonging to an Army background, Diksha was exposed to a lot of outdoor activities including sports since her childhood. She began playing golf at the age of around six years in the cantonments of Dimapur (Nagaland) and Mhow (Madhya Pradesh) where her father was posted. Her father was her first coach and provided her with the initial knowledge of the game.
In the initial years, Diksha took to a number of physical activities including swimming, cycling, skating and riding but zeroed down on golf at the age of 11 when her father moved to national capital following a transfer.
"Diksha went on to win almost every major under-15 golf tournament in India thereafter," added Colonel Dagar.
In 2015, she won the Eastern India Ladies & Junior Girls, Faldo Series India. The very next year, she won the Chandigarh Ladies & Junior Girls Championship, Faldo Series India Championship, Western India Ladies & Girls Championship and the Eastern India Ladies & Junior Girls.
In 2017, she won the Telangana Ladies & Junior Girls Championship, the Northern India Ladies & Girls championship and the Western India Ladies & Girls Championship. Diksha also won her first professional event at the Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour in 2017.